Medical tourism bane of National Health Act

A Lawyer and Bioethicist, Obiajulu Nnamuchi, says an effective and efficient discharge of health- related obligations incumbent on public authorities is the key to securing the right to health in Nigeria. He stated this at the first public lecture organised by the Faculty of Law, NOUN, entitled “Securing the Right to Health in Nigeria under the framework of the National Health Act” in Lagos. Dr. Nnamuchi, a senior lecturer at the Faculty of Law, University of Nigeria, said individuals and civil society organisations must work together to ensure an integrated architecture- in which all hands are on deck and directed towards a common goal of access to health care services. He described the Right to Health in Nigeria as justiciable, as anyone denied access to basic health have the unquestionable right to seek redress in court. The chairman on the occasion, Jonathan Fabunmi, a retired Professor of Law at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, opined that for real progress to be made in the implementation of the National Health Act, public office holders and policy makers must be barred from seeking medical treatment abroad for a period of ten years. He described medical tourism as the bane of effective and efficient National Health Act, adding that those who were supposed to ensure sincere implementation of the Act often found medical solace elsewhere, leaving the Act as mere paper work. Earlier, Dr. Alero Akujobi, Dean, Faculty of Law, NOUN, said the lecture was borne out of the desire to ensure that the National Health Act and Policy was strengthened and given legal teeth to achieve the set goals for which it was created. According to her, all human activities take place within a legal milieu, hence the need to identify and use these laws for societal well-being, as law is the foundation upon which human development is built. The Vice Chancellor, Prof. Abdalla Uba Adamu said the public lectures organised by the University had become a veritable platform for community services-providing the Nigerian populace the platform to raise issues of contemporary relevance in the country.

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